A group of shoe companies announced plans to close their shoe stores in 2019, after a 10-year relationship with the company that has been largely positive for them.
The announcement comes as Rosie Sainsbury, the company’s chief executive officer, said the company had been hit hard by a weak economic recovery, but said the shoemakers were prepared to stay put.
“It’s a tough time,” Ms Sainsworth said.
“And the good news is we’re going to stay in business.”
The companies said they would sell fewer than 30 per cent of their business to retailers, with the rest going to partners.
Rosie said it was closing at least 50 of its stores, and it had plans to make the rest of them into “franchises”.
“We are looking at a range of options to continue to provide the best value for our customers and for our partners,” Rosie told a news conference.
The company also announced plans for a new store in the Sydney suburb of Bendigo, which will be open to the public but run by the company, and plans to expand its stores in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Rosies shoes store in Bendigo is expected to be open in 2019.
The group said it had sold 1.3 million pairs of shoes between February and September, down by a third on the previous quarter.
Rosier shoes, which includes a shoe shop in Melbourne, had sold more than 1.5 million pairs.
The shoe shops were founded by Ms Sainbury in 1995, with her husband, the Australian entrepreneur David Rosie, as co-founder.
“Rosie has made it clear that we’ve always wanted to continue supporting Rosie to bring great experiences to our customers,” Mr Rosie added.
Mr Rosies said the business would continue to “provide a high quality experience for our consumers, our partners and our retailers”.
He said the closure was “a real loss for the Australian shoemaking community”.
Mr Rosi said the shoes were sold to retailers across Australia and overseas.
“There will be a real loss of revenue,” he said.
Rosi Shoes said it would continue selling Rosie shoes in stores across the country.
“Our retail business is going to remain operational, as well as continuing to operate a Rosie store and continue to support Rosie in terms of retail and other business,” it said.
The closures will be part of a wider trend, the group said.
Its latest quarterly results showed the company was down 3 per cent on the year.
Rosiestans share price fell 2.5 per cent to $10.72.
The Rosies shoe chain is not the only Australian company to close.
Lifestyle clothing chain Ralph Lauren announced it was ending its online shoe business and putting all its Australian stores in a single location.
It said it planned to continue operations at its Australian headquarters in Melbourne.